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Drink and be Hoppy: Azasu Hosts Hoppy Anniversary Event

Drink and be Hoppy: Azasu Hosts Hoppy Anniversary Event


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Azasu, on New York’s Lower East Side, hosted an event celebrating Hoppy’s 66th anniversary

On a rainy August evening in New York, a Japanese invasion took place on the Lower East Side.

For those who are unfamiliar with Japanese culinary jargon, an izakaya is a bar that also serves food to accompany their beverage selection. Azasu, which opened in May on New York’s Lower East Side, is one such type of watering hole, and in keeping with tradition offers its patrons a variety of Japanese drinks alongside an eclectic menu of bar bites.

One rainy night in August, the spot hosted an event to celebrate the 66th anniversary of Hoppy, a Japanese malt beverage company. Azasu is one of the only places in America that serves the brand, and three of the company’s brews were on tap: Hoppy Original, Hoppy Premium, and Hoppy Black, which were served in mugs frozen on the spot with a high-tech liquid nitrogen apparatus. The kitchen was also hard at work, churning out some of their most popular food items for the crowd, including takoyaki (pancake balls with octopus), pork gyoza dumplings, and their addictive chicken karaage: sake- and ginger-marinated boneless chicken wings.

Although the celebration is over, you can skip down to Azasu and enjoy Hoppy any time; the drinks, food, and atmosphere blend together to make you feel as if you’re partying in Harajuku.

Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.


On Tap: Arena moves beer festival to align with Craft Beer Week

The Spokane Brewers Festival returns earlier this year to help wrap up Spokane Craft Beer Week.

While the first three festivals took place in August, this year’s event happens inside the Spokane Arena (720 W. Mallon Ave.) on May 18, the next-to-last day of the weeklong celebration.

“We’re looking at this as enhancing everything about the week,” said Matt Gibson, the Arena’s general manager. “And getting out of the summertime when people are on vacation, especially in August, should be good for everyone.”

At least 33 regional breweries and cideries are scheduled to pour from noon to 7 p.m. Spokane-area brewers include Badass Backyard, Bellwether, Black Label, Bottle Bay, English Setter, Grain Shed, Hidden Mother, Humble Abode, Little Spokane, Millwood, Mountain Lakes, No-Li, River City, TT’s Old Iron and V Twin.

From elsewhere in Eastern Washington come Bale Breaker (Yakima), Ice Harbor (Kennewick), Icicle (Leavenworth), Northern Ales (Kettle Falls), Ten Pin (Moses Lake), Wenatchee Valley, Whipsaw (Ellensburg) and Yakima Craft. Also look for Idaho’s Post Falls Brewing, Montana’s Lewis & Clark (Helena) and Oregon’s Ordnance (Boardman), along with gluten-free offerings from Seattle’s Ghostfish.

On the cider side, there’s Avid (Bend, Oregon), Bardic (Spokane Valley), One Tree (Spokane), Pear Up (Wenatchee) and Tieton (Yakima). Coeur d’Alene’s Summit Cider brings its Current Strong Seltzer and No-Li its Day Fade hard seltzer.

Food will be available from One Night Stand Barbecue, Tacos Tumbras and the Farmer’s Daughter. There will be live music throughout the day.

Tickets are $25 in advance (no fees) through Ticketswest.com or $30 at the door, which includes a souvenir pint glass and seven 4-ounce tastes (extras $2 each). Proceeds support the Wishing Star Foundation.

Designated driver admission with free water and soda is $5, and those under 21 are admitted free if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Parking in the Arena lot is $7.

Spokane Craft Beer Week

Among the other events announced at press time:

Bellwether (2019 N. Monroe St.) welcomes the Inland Northwest Beer Choir on Monday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. releases a collaboration sour with brewery-in-progress For the Love of God (using rosemary, basil, raspberries, cranberries and vanilla) on Tuesday, a collaboration hazy IPA braggot (honey beer) with Humble Abode on May 15 and a hoppy wheat beer collaboration with Black Label and the Grain Shed on May 16 and hosts a homebrewers competition May 17-19 with flights of the five finalists.

Black Label (19 W. Main Ave.) releases a hazy India pale lager collaboration with Humble Abode on Tuesday, a maibock collaboration with Masters Brewhouse (Deer Park) on May 15 accompanied by a Mario Kart video game tournament and the hoppy wheat beer collaboration with Bellwether and the Grain Shed on May 16 with a Street Fighter video game tournament donates $2 from every drink sale to the Isaac Foundation’s fight against autism on May 17 and releases a collaboration shandy with V Twin on May 19.

Millwood Brewing (9013 E. Frederick Ave.) releases a Silver Bow Black IPA collaboration with Mountain Lakes on Tuesday, and features guest beers from Pullman’s Paradise Creek, Republic Brewing and Newport’s Top Frog on May 15.

Mountain Lakes (201 W. Riverside Ave.) on May 17 releases a second collab with Millwood Brewing, Rain Bow cream ale.

Perry Street Brewing (1025 S. Perry St.) has its annual Night of the Living Pils pilsner celebration Tuesday ($2/12 ounces, $3/pint) charcuterie, cheese and beer pairings May 15 releases a juicy IPA collaboration with Yakima’s Bale Breaker on May 16 takes on Seattle’s Fremont for a Firk-Off on May 17 (two firkins from each brewery plus a surprise Fremont small batch) and leads a bike ride followed by beer and brats May 19 starting at 3 p.m.

Twelve String (11616 E. Montgomery Ave.) has a dark beer day and chicken wing potluck Monday, releases three new beers Tuesday, offers IPA specials May 16, releases another new beer and a special firkin May 17 and features sours May 18.

Whistle Punk (122 S. Monroe St.) serves flights of six beers brewed with local LINC Malt on Monday.

Big Barn (16004 N. Applewood Lane, Green Bluff) offers brewery tours and tank samples May 17 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Community Pint craft beer bar (120 E. Sprague Ave.) hosts the Inland Brewers Unite homebrew club for a brewing demonstration May 19 starting at noon, with an IBU/Iron Goat collaboration on tap.

Most of the above-mentioned collaborations and more are scheduled to pour at a CollabFest on May 16 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Steam Plant. For more on that and other events as they’re announced, keep an eye on spokanecraftbeerweek.com.

Freshly tapped

The latest releases at area breweries include:

A juicy, tropical Participation Medal IPA (7% alcohol by volume) at Perry Street.

The first in a New England-style series of Pushing Up Hazys IPAs (5.8) at Iron Goat (1302 W. Second Ave.).

A hoppy West Coast IPA dubbed the Enabler (6.3) at Post Falls Brewing (112 N. Spokane St., Post Falls).

The seasonal Miss Maggie’s Lavender IPA (6.1) at Big Barn.

A light, London-style Twilight Bark porter (4.7) at English Setter (15310 E. Marietta Ave.).

Bellwether on Thursday releases a Nightshade Braggot (9.4) brewed with heirloom tomatoes, jalapeños and avocado honey.

Save the date

Daft Badger (1710 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene) welcomes Kootenai Humane Society for a Pints and Paws benefit May 18 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards (1331 W. Summit Parkway) celebrates its fourth anniversary May 18 with a special taplist.

The Coeur d’Alene Growler Guys (225 W. Appleway Ave.) hosts a North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation fundraiser May 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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© 2021 The Alcohol Professor. All rights reserved. Design + Development by Delphi.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abigail Gullo

Abigail Deirdre Gullo first fell into bartending when she learned to make a Manhattan (sweet) for her beloved grandfather at the age of 7. Abigail is a member of the United States Bartenders Guild and a proud supporter of the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans. When not behind the bar at SoBou, she is behind her computer screen blogging at www.ryegirlnyc.blogspot.com, or tweeting @nycbaby, though she would rather be singing in a Rock-n-Roll band.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adam Levy

Adam Levy is the "Alcohol Professor" and Founder of the International. Beverage Competitions Group. He is a man in constant search of imbibing in good stuff and sharing his knowledge with those he knows. Born in New York with a lust for travel and to visit breweries, wineries and distilleries around the world. He loves his dog Garret Oliver and wears Red to proudly represent Rutgers Sports.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Agathe Soubien

I'm a french Norman who is passionate about wines & spirits. I turned my career into it because I really believe in it. My first link with wine was when I was young, and I used to accompany my dad to choose a bottle from our cellar for friends and family dinners. So my link to wine is to share it! I have worked in Bordeaux for Vignobles Clément Fayat as seller and in charge of the communication, promotion and PR. I was in Champagne this year to achieve a Vocational Bachelor's Degree in International Trade of Wines and Spirits, and now in NYC to do an internship for an importer. My dream is to work in Burgundy in the next few months because I really believe that to learn about wines you need to live and feel it. You need to travel and discover the region by your eyes and senses not just in books or on the internet. I also wish to work abroad and promote French wines and spirits and share our "savoir faire" and way of drink.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


RELATED ARTICLES

The 5ft7in reality star completed her beach-ready look with a wide-brimmed straw hat and a set of blue reflective sunglasses to complement that bathing suit.

She filmed her video from inside her kitchen on her granite-topped island, with plenty of wine and cocktail glasses behind her at the bar.

Blue mood: Bethenney's royal blue top was jazzed up with a gold triangle in the middle and a black stripe at the top decorated with a gold chain design

Fit figure: The low-rise bottoms showcased her admirable abs and also featured the gold chain design on the straps

'I'm back from surfing with my daughter and my boyfriend — busy mom!' she began.

'But, having a cocktail. The cocktail happened and you didn't see it. Did it really happen? I think not,' she joked before repeating the process for drink number two.

She began with a generous stemless wine glass filled with vodka soda and then poured in a small glass of squeezed watermelon juice.

'I was making a sorbet before — I don't waste a thing,' she explained.

Next up was a 'splash of lime juice, or a squeeze from a lime,' though Bethenny gave an extended pour.

Fruity: She began with a generous stemless wine glass filled with vodka soda and then poured in a small glass of squeezed watermelon juice. 'I was making a sorbet before — I don't waste a thing,' she explained

Sweet treat: Next up was a 'splash of lime juice, or a squeeze from a lime,' though Bethenny gave an extended pour. She followed with limeade (or lemonade or Sprite) to make it sweeter

She went to mix the concoction by pouring it into the watermelon glass, before realizing it was too small and spilling on the counter.

'That was moronic,' she said before taking a sip. 'Too limey, hold please.'

After wiping down the counter, she added in a bit of limeade (though lemonade or Sprite would work too) to add just the right amount of sweetness, as the watermelon juice wasn't especially sweet.


Beer Review: Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA

Even the most fervent IPA fans will admit that after a while, the bitterness of hops can tire your palate and get in the way of enjoying the bright, piney citrus flavors the hop flower provides. Deschutes Brewery from Bend, OR, solves that issue entirely in its Chainbreaker White IPA.

Thanks to both wheat and pilsner malt in the brew, this unique beer has all the fresh, floral flavor you&rsquod want from an IPA, but with a smooth, subtle finish. Poured from a 12-oz. bottle, a not-too-pale golden liquid holds a tightly spaced, bright white head for several minutes. Like a Belgian wit, Chainbreaker is brewed with both coriander and orange, and these scents both come through on the nose.

Sipping the beer brings these flavors and additional hoppy, citrus spice to your tongue, but the finish is smooth, rolling through banana notes and finishing with only a tiny, tiny hint of bitterness. It&rsquos easily washed away by the next sip, and drinking a whole glass is much more refreshing than less-stringent wheat beers usually are. The quad of flowers &mdash Bravo, Citra, Centennial and Cascade &mdash make the hops that you do taste unique and complex.

Think of Chainbreaker White IPA as a lovechild made from crossing a hoppy pale ale with a Belgian wit with an American wheat beer. The hybrid style, which comes in at 5.6% ABV and just 55 IBUs, was first created as an homage to mountain biking season, hence the name and also the graphics on the bottle. Brewer Jake Harper refers to both bike trails and this beer as &ldquognarly&rdquo and &ldquoslightly gritty&rdquo &mdash in a good way.

The resulting beer took the silver medal in the American-Belgo Style Ale category at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival, appropriate because Deschutes this year celebrates its silver anniversary. Also good news: Deschutes is now available in many East Coast cities for the first time this summer, and this is a perfect beer to use for a toast to the 25-year-old craft brewing pioneer.


June Roundup: 10 Not to Miss Events

It’s finally summer in the Rocky Mountains. From family-friendly outdoor activities to wine tasting, there is something for everyone to enjoy under the Colorado sunshine.

Top of the World Rodeo - Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9, 2019 - In a grand tradition to keep the legacy of traditional rodeo sports alive, the City of Cripple Creek proudly hosts the world&rsquos highest elevation rodeo. Enjoy three days of competition, a street dance and more.

Where: Teller County Fairgrounds
When: 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Sunday
Cost: Adults $10, Children $5

25th Annual Starlight Spectacular &ndash Saturday, June 15, 2019 &ndash Join the Trails and Open Space Coalition for a bike ride through Garden of the Gods by the light of the stars. This year celebrates &ldquo25 years of wild style,&rdquo so put on your favorite costume and light up your bike.

Where: Garden of the Gods Park
When: 9 p.m. -12 a.m.
Cost: Free

Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Art Competition and Viewing &ndash Saturday, June 15th, 2019 &ndash Sip your way through the very best artwork submitted for the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey&rsquos Art Competition on display in the Abbey winery park.

Where: The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey
When: 11 a.m. &ndash 4 p.m.
Cost: Free* Note: Does not include food and wine.

​ ​

Bristol Brewing Company&rsquos 25th Anniversary Party &ndash Saturday, June 15, 2019 &ndash Celebrate 25 years of Bristol Brewing Company&rsquos amazing locally-crafted beer. The event will feature special &ldquohoppy&rdquo hour deals, beer releases and more!

Where: Bristol Brewing Company
When: Noon &ndash 6 p.m.
Cost: Free* Note: Does not include beer.

Father&rsquos Day in the Pikes Peak Region &ndash Sunday, June 16, 2018 &ndash Whether you&rsquore going out for lunch or treating dad to a thrilling Colorado adventure, there is no shortage of events to show him some love. Find a full list of events here.

Fiddles, Vittles and Vino - Sunday, June 16, 2019 - Head to this local bluegrass, food and wine festival to help support agricultural programs in the Pikes Peak region. Tastes from 26 restaurants will be provided alongside four live band performances.

Where: Rock Ledge Ranch
When: 2:30 p.m.
Cost: Adults $50, Children $20

Western Street Breakfast &ndash Wednesday, June 19, 2019 &ndash Put on your cowboy boots and get ready for the official kick-off to Colorado Springs&rsquo rodeo season at the family-friendly western breakfast.

Where: Pikes Peak Ave and Tejon Street, Downtown Colorado Springs
When: 5:30 &ndash 9 a.m.
Cost: $5

Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival &ndash Friday-Saturday, June 21 & 22, 2019 &ndash The Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival celebrates the Arkansas River and highlights the many recreational opportunities it presents. All the money raised goes towards continued expansion of the Whitewater Park, river restoration and charitable causes.

Where: 221 Griffin Ave, Canon City, CO
When: 4 &ndash 8:45 p.m. Friday | 7:30 a.m. &ndash 11 p.m. Saturday
Cost: Free* Note: Does not include whitewater packages

Donkey Derby Days &ndash Saturday-Sunday, June 22-23, 2019 &ndash Experience an event unlike any other with games, live entertainment, heritage competitions, and of course, racing donkeys. If you don&rsquot catch them while competing, they are easily found roaming through town and happily accept veggie treats and even pose for selfies.

Where: City of Cripple Creek
When: Times vary depending on day
Cost: Free

Old Colorado City West Fest - Sunday, June 23, 2019 - Come celebrate summer in Old Colorado City at this free festival fit for all ages. Explore food, wine, beer, music and art along the streets of this historic district.


Service Brewing set to mark four years of hoppy happiness

With CUSSES, The Hypnotics, José Ray, Chazito's Latin Cuisine, Big Bon Pizza, and Aint-Bad.

THE FIRST THING I loved when I moved to Savannah a few years ago is that most locals like to enjoy a cold one, especially after a stereotypically hot day.

So, it was no surprise that Serving Brewing Company was a quick and long term success, especially after sipping down any of their thoughtfully crafted beers.

The story of Service Brewing began in 2012 when a local SCAD graduate, Meredith Sutton, gifted former Army commander and Iraq veteran Kevin Ryan a home brewing kit. A short two years later, they expanded their love affair to a partnership and a love affair with beer, opening Savannah&rsquos Service Brewing Company.

Meredith focuses on events, branding, and marketing, while Kevin handles logistics, operations, and recipes, but each also focuses on giving back to our community and veterans.

Year round the brewery sells their Ground Pounder India Pale Ale, or IPA, Compass Rose IPA, Rally Point Bohemian Style Pilsner, Scouts Out Honey Saison, and Battlewagon Double IPA.

The Compass Rose IPA is their &ldquobest selling year around beer on the market,&rdquo says Kevin.

To create the signature India Pale Ale Service brews each batch with grapefruit, pear, passion fruit, and orange. Although the addition of fruit adds a touch of sweetness, the beer is extremely aromatic and balanced by both the hops and tangy kick of citrus. Out of all of Service&rsquos IPAs, the Compass Rose is Kevin&rsquos go-to IPA.

Rally Point, a session beer, is a great beer for drinking &ldquoyear round. chefs love Rally Point after being in a hot kitchen all night. At the end of the day, that is what they want,&rdquo Meredith explains when I ask for a summer beer recommendation.

The lower alcohol level and light refreshing flavor make it a perfect beer for sipping while enduring the sweltering Savannah summer heat. Rally Point Pilsner has become the &ldquomost popular beer in our taproom,&rdquo Meredith tells me.

Kevin&rsquos favorite beer &ldquois always the most recent beer [they&rsquove] brewed&rdquo because the brewery has a rotation of seasonal and limited release beers.

On tap for the limited releases list when I visited was the Gun Bunny Witbier, the Savannah Bananas Cerveza, the Old Guard Biere de Garde, and an Imperial Raspberry Blonde.

&ldquoGun Bunny is a witbier that has Indian coriander seed, cardamom, tangelo peel, and mandarin orange, which is the reason it is summer seasonal,&rdquo Kevin tells me while explaining how light and refreshing the beer is.

While I sat at the bar of the tasting room chatting with Mike, I tasted (or gulped down) one of their research and developing beers &mdash the Cafe Macchiato Porter. The porter was rich in chocolate flavor with ideal amount of roasted espresso, and although created with deep decadent flavors, the beer was not heavy at all.

Service Brewery creates small batches &mdash dubbed their research-and-development beers &mdash taking inspiration from anywhere to create new and unique beers. This process allows the brewery to fine tune their process while offering exciting new things to the locals, but the beers are only available in the Taphouse.

One of their research and development beers brewed every year for the Ossabaw Island Pig Roast is the Ossabaw IPA. To create the beer, Yaupon holly from the Asia tea company is used in the brew, and the proceeds of the beer sales are donated to Ossabaw Island Foundation.

To celebrate their fourth year as a thriving local business, Service brewed a special batch of IPA that will be available at their Anniversary party this coming Saturday, July 21st.

I was lucky enough to try the Imperial Milkshake India Pale Ale after it was poured straight from the tank, and let me tell you that I have never felt cooler or more honored in my life. The hospitality of Kevin and Meredith was a perfect reflection of the way they run their business and treat their guests.

The special brew is a beautiful, milky, glowing shade of light amber, and the milky part is important. A growing movement in the brewing community is the milkshake style IPA which lends a cloudier, but not in a bad way, type of brew unlike the traditional clearer IPA. The result is a full bodied mouthfeel and a reduction in the hoppy bite that many IPAs have.

Milkshake IPAs are not only characterized by their hazy appearance but also the addition of fruit or vanilla. For their version, Service went with fruit and honey &mdash not just any honey, but Savannah&rsquos loved and local honey from Savannah Bee Company. The choice in fruit, perfect for summertime, was passionfruit.

The fragrance is sweet, and when drinking it your mouth fills with the creamy flavor of passion fruit, next comes the honey, and the finish is a slight kick of hops. The beer is one that goes down as easily as juice, but be careful because it boats an alcohol content of ten percent.

If you do not catch the delicious hazy IPA at Service&rsquos anniversary celebration, you can find it around town, like many of their limited releases, canned and available to purchase.

The beer can containing the beer is as unique as the beer itself and will feature original art created by local artist, and friend to Kevin and Meredith, Will Penny.

This year, the anniversary party will be free of an entry cost and will kick off July 21st at noon. Not only can you drink as many Imperial Milkshake IPA&rsquos as you can stand, literally, but the party will include music, food, and more.

The first part of the day will feature food from Chazito&rsquos Latin Cuisine and music from DJ Jose Ray. As the day goes on musical guests the Hypnotics and CUSSES will play, and Big Bon will be there to fill your bellies. I hope to see everyone there.


New beers available this week (November 25–December 5)

Headflyer Pecan Pie Brown Ale // Photo via Headflyer Brewing

Barrel aged Darker Territory from 56 Brewing // Photo via 56 Brewing Twitter

  • Barrel Aged Darker Territory – On Black Friday, 56 released Four Roses barrel-aged, Buffalo Trace barrel-aged, and Woodford Reserve barrel-aged varietals of Darker Territory stout.

Able Seedhouse + Brewery

  • Shapes and Sizes V2 – This new hazy IPA was made with Simcoe, Loral, and Palisade hops, “which gives the beer flavors of citrus, apricot, dark fruits, passionfruit, pine, and nice floral and dank notes,” says Able head brewer Bobby Blasey. 5.8% ABV, 10 IBU and available on draft and in cans.
  • Uhh yeah Dude – A fruited American sour that’s purple in color with blackberries and apricots driving the flavor profile. 4.6% ABV, 6 IBU. Available at the taproom today and elsewhere next week.

Alloy Brewing Company

  • Barrel Aged White Noise – A limited Black Friday release, this is a barrel-aged white chocolate stout that offers balanced chocolate and bourbon flavors, the brewery says, and pours at 9.2% ABV, 74 IBU.
  • Cherry Cherry Earthshake Milkshake IPA – This new beer is a milkshake IPA with equally tart and sweet cherry flavors, the brewery says. 8.4% ABV, 40 IBU.
  • Holidaze Old Ale – A holiday beer with cinnamon and clove spice. 6.2% ABV, 40 IBU.

Marc’s Hard Limonade from Back Channel Brewing // Photo via Back Channel Brewing Instagram

Back Channel Brewing Co.

  • High Commute – A New England IPA with juicy flavors reminiscent of an orange creamsicle and a light, feathery mouthfeel, the brewery says. 7.25% ABV.
  • Lightfoot – A new smoothie-style Berliner weisse made in collaboration with New Origin Brewing (Asheville, NC), this pours at 7.25% ABV and was made with strawberry, peach, orange, and mango.
  • Marc’s Hard Limonade – A 5.0% kettle sour with limoncello cake.
  • Money Baby – “Orange, berry, stone fruit and a resinous nose complimented by a light malty and caramel sweetness. The lingering bitterness is juxtaposed by the citrus and stone fruit notes,” the brewery says. 7.25% ABV.
  • Soviet Slayer – “Soviet Slayer delivers bold roast followed by moderate coffee and chocolate flavors, with subtle caramel and underlying notes of dark fruit,” the brewery says. 10% ABV, 70 IBU.
  • The Draftsman – A 5.15% ABV Vienna lager with notes of toast, a subtle herbal bitterness, and a clean, slightly dry finish, the brewery says.
  • Leather and Mahogany Scotch Ale – Top Flight selection.
  • Peach Cobbler Milkshake IPA – A dessert IPA that debuted at the St. Joseph brewery last week, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon.

Bad Weather Brewing Company

  • Barrel Aged Calamity – This is last year’s Calamity Russian imperial stout, aged in J. Carver whiskey barrels. “Full-bodied with notes of chocolate, roast, and dark fruits,” Bad Weather says. Available as of last Friday, November 29.
  • Festbier – The German-style lager is back on tap at the brewery for a limited time.
  • Light’ning – A low calorie light ale, available at the taproom.

Barrel Theory Doorbuster, right, and Feast Mode in crowlers // Photo via Barrel Theory Twitter

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • Doorbuster – Tapped last week, this is a caramel apple sucker-inspired sour that pours at 4% ABV.
  • Feast Mode – A 12% ABV imperial stout inspired by pecan pie.
  • Bright White – A rebrand of Winter White Belgian-inspired wheat ale. It pours at 5% ABV and will be available through March.
  • To a Locomotive in Winter – A 6.0% ABV smoked porter and the fourth release in the Leaves of Grass series inspired by the works of Walt Whitman.
  • El Guerrero – A Black Friday release, this is a Chilean double stout making its first appearance since 2015. On tap at Bent now and in cans this month. The brewstillery released a small batch Dark Fatha Rye Whiskey on the same day.

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

  • Glensheen Deconstructed Fruitcake – A limited time fruitcake-inspired beer that’s on tap at the brewery now and will also be served at Duluth Winter Village this weekend.
  • Redivivus – A hoppy imperial red ale with a malty backbone and a juicy finish courtesy of American hops. Medium bitterness, the brewery says. 8.4% ABV, 70 IBU.
  • Black Anvil – This imperial stout is 7.9% ABV, 77 IBU with a full body and infused with cacao nibs and vanilla. The end results has hints of dark chocolate, raisin, and plum, the brewery says, reminiscent of a fudge brownie.

Blackstack Slow Clap // Photo via Blackstack Instagram

  • DDH 755: Strata – A Strata-hopped variant of BlackStack’s signature pulpy IPA is on tap and available in crowlers now. 6.9% ABV.
  • Slow Clap – Back on draft and in liquor stores, this “soft and squishy” IPA features Cashmere and Strata hops and pours at 7.3% ABV.
  • French Quarter – A 4.0% ABV smoothie Berliner inspired by The Hurricane cocktail. Made with passionfruit, tangerine, cherry, key lime, hibiscus, milk sugar, and rum-soaked vanilla beans.

Bobbing Bobber Brewing Company

  • Spear House Black IPA – A black IPA with crisp and intense winter-minded flavors, the brewery says. 7% ABV, 70 IBU.
  • English-Style Nut Brown Ale – A session brown ale with “Layers of malt bring [that] superb mouthfeel, while specialty grains lend notes of caramel, nuttiness in the classic UK tradition,” the brewery says. On tap now. 5.1% ABV.

Clutch Brewing Company

Dangerous Man Blackberry Lime Sour and Double Razz Double Vanilla Milkshake IPA // Photo via Dangerous Man Instagram

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

  • Blackberry Lime Sour – Described as “a straight juice bomb,” Blackberry Lime Sour was made with 500 pounds of blackberries and 40 pounds of key limes.
  • Double Razz Double Vanilla Milkshake IPA – Tapped at the brewery last month, this is a milkshake-style IPA made with double the raspberry and vanilla as the brewery typically uses.
  • Blackbecrush – A kettle sour wheat ale at 5.2% ABV, 15 IBU, made with blackberry. Available since November 29, the beer is also on sale in 6-packs.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • FSB: Double Macaroon – The third 2019 variant of FSB imperial stout, this is a pastry-style stout with coconut, chocolate, and vanilla. Available in a 3-variant pack along with its Maple S’mores and Salted Caramel Coffee variant counterparts.

Falling Knife Brewing Co.

Finnegans Brett de L’Hiver Dark Ale // Photo via Finnegans Twitter

  • Brett de L’Hiver – “A jet black Dark Ale aged just shy of a year in our brandy barrels,” FINNEGANS says, with brettanomyces funk and fruit forward aromas of fresh pineapple, cherry, and strawberry. 8.6% ABV, 25 IBU. Available on draft at the brewery and in 750-milliliter bottles.
  • L’Amour – A grisette with mild notes of lemon and floral character from a subtle Opal dry-hopping, the brewery says. 4.9% ABV, 20 IBU an on tap at the brewery.
  • Lonesome Fiddle Dunkel – A dunkel lager with coffee from Fiddle Head Coffee in Rochester. “Whole bean mix blended coffee adds loads of rich coffee flavor with chocolate and toffee character, and a classic fluffy lager mouthfeel,” the brewery says. 5.8%, 25 IBU.

A ticketed 6-bottle release party is scheduled for this weekend, from December 6–8. Beers include:

  • Backdoor – A barrel blended “Holiday Stout,” which includes notes of gin, rich chocolate, mint leaves, and more.
  • Dribbles – Top Flight selection.
  • Pastry Lace – A collaboration with Pulpit Rock and Barrel Theory, this includes blended barrel-aged beers plus vanilla, cocoa nibs, coconut, pecans, and cayenne pepper.
  • Pudding Goggles – The imperial pastry porter is back, featuring rich chocolate, plus coconut, cocoa, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  • Shrub and Vine – “Shrub and Vine was blended from two separate batches of oak-fermented mixed culture saison,” Forager says. “This farmhouse ale drinks like a tart sparkling wine with notes of raspberry, blackberry and Smucker’s grape jelly.”
  • The Dude – This beer is aged on vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, hazelnuts, coffee, and lactose sugar, taking its inspiration from the White Russian cocktail.
  • French Toast Bastard – A barrel-aged scotch ale with additional maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla. This is part of Founders’ Mothership Series, previously limited to the brewery’s taprooms. 11.1% ABV and limited.
  • Goodwill Gold – The second of two Holidazzle exclusives, this is “extremely easy-drinking and familiar…a super light, crispy, un-fussy golden lager that will surely please even the non-craft drinker in your group,” the brewery says.
  • Small Talk Stout – One of two exclusive Holidazzle beers from Fulton, this chocolate oatmeal stout will be available only at the Loring Park festival that runs through Sunday, December 22.

Garphish Uncle Cliff // Photo via Garphish Instagram

Garphish Brewing Company

  • Uncle Cliff – An imperial porter brewed using maple sap in place of water. The brewery explains: “We didn’t stop there. We aged this beer in a J. Carver Distillery Brickyard Bourbon barrel for months. Finally we hit it with some all natural maple syrup. Rich and bold with notes of dark fruit, roast, dark chocolate and toffee. Out now in limited supply. 8.0% ABV.
  • Way Gooder – At 6.2% ABV, Way Gooder is described by the brewery as crisp, light-bodied, and hoppy. “Brewed to be extra dry to let the hops shine,” says Garphish.
  • Pecan Pie Brown Ale – Tapped on Thanksgiving week, this is a pecan pie nut brown ale that uses specialty malts for a crust-like base, then with added sugar and pecans.
  • Barrel Aged Ode to a Thistle Scotch Ale – Aged in oak barrels from RockFilter Distillery, this scotch ale has extra wood and whiskey notes and pours at 10.7% ABV, 25 IBU.
  • Dragon Squirrel Juicy IPA – A hoppy beer with citrus and stone fruit flavors, complemented by an approachable low bitterness, the brewery says. 6.6% ABV, 37 IBU.
  • Fell Walker English Old Ale – A strong, malty, and slightly bitter ale brewed with winter in mind. 8% ABV, 37 IBU.

Indeed Strange Charm // Photo via Indeed Twitter

Indeed Brewing Company

  • Strange Charm – A bourbon barrel-aged strong ale with honey, ginger, and orange peel. What emerges is a balanced but bold blend of oak, subtle ginger and a wisp of caramel and vanilla,” the brewery says. 8.5% ABV, 15 IBU.

Inver Grove Brewing Co.

  • Fun Juice – A hazy IPA, this is the first house-brewed beer to tap at Inver Grove Brewing. Dry-hopped with Amarillo, Azacca, and El Dorado, it pours at 7% ABV, 30 IBU.
  • Salad Bar – A series of single hop session pale ales, named with a wink toward the brewpub building’s history as Ruby Tuesdays, this first offering has a light body with a pleasant hop aroma from the use of New Zealand Waimea.
  • English Mild 0101 – A sessionable reddish-amber beer with toasted malt on the nose, then mild biscuit and caramel notes. Malt-forward, clean and easy-drinking. 3.8% ABV, 15 IBU.

Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

  • Double IPA – On tap for the brewery’s anniversary party on Saturday, plus a variety of infusions.
  • Imperial Stout – Available this Saturday.

Left Hand Hard Wired // Photo via Left Hand Twitter

Left Hand Brewing Company

Lupulin Brewing Company

  • Dunkel – A German-style dark lager that pours at 5.4% ABV, 25 IBU and is on draft at the brewery.
  • Lateralus: Snozzberry Pie – Made with blueberries, blackberries, graham cracker, and vanilla, this is an 11% ABV imperial stout available on draft and in crowlers.
  • Polarnattens Paradis – A 10% ABV winter stout that is sold in cans, on draft, and in Crowlers.
  • Already Bored – This new “boring ass” beer is a Pilsner that Modist dryly describes as “Exhaustingly clean and crisp, with notes of disinteresting fresh baked bread, blasé wildflower honey, hardly exciting zesty herbs and spices with a dullingly smooth bitterness.” On tap now and in cans that are decorated with a variety of boredom-killing games like mazes, connect the dots, a crossword puzzle, and a word search.
  • Pretty Metal – A new dark lager.

For the holidays, Oliphant is offering 12 Nights of Tangus, a 12-pack of 12 different sour Crowlers in a single package. Limited supply. Tangus is likely to include some of these currently available beers:

  • 2SpacedOut2FacedTrout – “The only peach, mango, jalapeno kettle sour to double deal you in the middle of a space station repair,” Oliphant says.
  • animals with human lips – A sour ale with passionfruit, mango, and pineapple.
  • anutart blue – Blueberry sour
  • anutart tangerine – Tangerine sour
  • “damn you, bog boy!” – A kettle sour made with cranberry, cinnamon, and orange peel.
  • Peelin’ – A refreshing sour ale with lemon, orange zest, coriander, and sea salt. Tapped on November 25.

Pryes Citra Snowcaps // Photo via Pryes Instagram

Pryes Brewing Company

  • Citra Snow Caps – A hazy, double dry-hopped double IPA with papaya and pineapple notes over a soft body. The first release in The Cartographer Collection, it debuts at the taproom on Saturday, December 7 and will later hit bars and liquor stores.
  • Czech Pilsner – A new small batch Pilsner that debuted on November 30 at the taproom. The beer is a traditional style with bright floral and herbal notes with a soft, bitter finish, the brewery says.
  • Cranberry Plum Smoothie Sour – “Conditioned on over 200 pounds of fruit, our newest smoothie is dry and tart from the cranberries with a smooth sweetness from the plums and lactose. With a slightly tart finish and a bright pink hew, it comes in at 5.3% ABV and 3 IBU,” the brewery says.
  • Hoppy Lager – The first Pilsner from Revelation, this crisp lager offers bread-like, sweet malt at its base with hoppy notes from the addition of U.S. Saaz hops.
  • Orange Cream Teleforce – A Push Pop-esque sour IPA and the third release in the Teleforce Sour IPA series, this new beer has blood orange, tangerine, and vanilla.

Roets Jordan Superfruit // Photo via Roets Jordan Brewery

The following will be released at Roets Jordan’s 3rd anniversary party on December 7:

  • Bearded Lad – A 6.2% ABV, 25 IBU dark amber ale.
  • Big Black Axe – An oak-aged variation of Roets’ imperial stout. 8.8% ABV, 50 IBU, and available in limited bottles beginning today.
  • Original Recipe – A 5% ABV, 28 IBU blonde ale.
  • Superfruit – A sour fruit braggot with black currant. 10.8% ABV, 6 IBU.
  • Superfruit – Fruit braggot with raspberry and blackberry. 9.5% ABV, 5 IBU.
  • The Imperial – Imperial Galaxy IPA. 10.2% ABV, 72 IBU.
  • Santa’s Private Reserve – This unique holiday ale was made with handpicked candy cap mushrooms, which help to give the beer “a deep maple flavor and aroma,” Rogue says. The sweet malt base is complemented by Cascade hops for balance.
  • Trees Hazelnut Porter – This barrel-aged English-style golden barleywine is available now in 750-milliliter bottles.

Schells Arctic Ale // Photo via Schells

  • Arctic Ale – A new barleywine sold in the Brewer’s Stash sampler pack, brewer Sean Monroe explains: “Emulating the beer brewed in 1852 per commission by Queen Victoria for Sir Edward Belcher’s expedition to the arctic, Arctic Ale is deep brown in color with notes of raisin and molasses and earthy hop aromatics.”
  • Cave-Aged Barrel-Aged – This limited edition beer was aged in Jim Beer barrels in the 19th century Schell’s caves. The beer has hints of sweet caramel, Schell’s says, plus oak and vanilla flavors.
  • Nordic IPA – Fermented with Norwegian farmhouse yeast and hopped with Minnesota grown Julius hops, Jace Marti notes, “This beer pours a hazy gold color, bursting with juicy peachy orange hop flavors, and a creamy mouthfeel with a restrained hop bitterness.” Available in the Brewer’s Stash sampler.

Schramhaus Black IPA // Photo via Schramhaus Instagram

  • Black IPA – A black-colored IPA with citrus and tropical aromas followed by tropical flavors with a light roasty undertone, Schram Haus says. 8.1% ABV, 69 IBU.
  • Weizenbock – Cloudy and a dark, ruby-brown, this is a wheat beer with prune, raisin, vanilla, and chocolate flavors complements by fruit cake, banana, clove, and more on the nose. 7.6% ABV, 26 IBU.
  • Candy Apple – On tap at the Holidazzle festival this winter at Loring Park, Minneapolis, where Sociable is also serving seasonal Fat Bike Mulled Hot Apple Cider.

Talking Waters Brewing Co.

  • General’s Breakfast – “A rich, full-bodied oatmeal stout that’s totally acceptable to drink for breakfast… or any time of day,” the brewery says. 5% ABV and available on nitro at the taproom.

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

  • Conflicted Krampus – Top Flight selection.
  • Schwarzchild Solution – Bottles of this aged, dark German-style lager went on sale last month.
  • Famarillo – An easy drinking IPA with “flowery citrus and sweet subtle pine hop character in finish,” Town Hall says. It pours at 6.5% ABV and is named after its hop ingredients, namely Falconers Flight and Amarillo.

Urban Forage Winery & Ciderhouse

  • Honey Toast – A cider sweetened with caramelized honey, 6.5% ABV and sold in 22-ounce bottles.
  • O Tannin Bomb – A limited release high-tannin cider made from Redfield cider apples and crabapples. 6% ABV, 22-ounce bottles.
  • Wassail – Hot, spiced hard cider, seasonally available at the cidery, including a non-alcoholic version some Saturdays, Urban Forager says—watch their Facebook for availability of the non-alcoholic version.

Urban Growler Brewing Company

  • Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter – Released just before Thanksgiving, both in bottles and on tap, this is a porter with dark chocolate, caramel, and bourbon sweetness, complemented by an oak nose and a dry finish.

Utepils Quadriga // Photo via Utepils Brewing

Waconia Brewing Company

  • Cranberry Hard Seltzer – A new hard seltzer that tapped at the brewery on Friday November 29.
  • Frosted Tips Christmas Ale
  • Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Dunkel – A Munich-style dunkel with hints of vanilla, coconut, and bourbon that come from barrel-aging, along with a slight smokiness. 8.5% ABV.
  • Weinachtsbier – Top Flight selection.

Wild Mind Artisan Ales

  • Chili Lime – Available in bottles on Black Friday.
  • Foeder Punch – Wild Mind has issued its first 16-ounce cans. This is a foeder-aged sour golden ale conditioned with pineapple and orange peel. “Tart, tropical and refreshing,” the brewery says.
  • From the Abstract – A Black Friday imperial rye stout conditioned on cocoa nibs, cinnamon sticks, and coffee beans before aging in rye whiskey barrels. 10.1% ABV.
  • Guava Refresco – Available in 16-ounce cans at select Twin Cities metro stores this is a sour hazy IPA refermented with guava and blended with a foeder-aged golden sour ale. 6.5% ABV.
  • Into Oblivion – A Black Friday 12% ABV beer imperial stout aged in Four Roses Single Barrel Select barrels on toasted coconut, vanilla beans, and coconut, with the final aged product offering notes of almond, vanilla bean ice cream, and hints of spice.
  • Time Gun – Also available in Wild Mind’s new cans, this is a fruity IPA with slight floral, bright citrus, tropical and stone fruit notes, and grapefruit, apricot, and lime on the finish. 6.2% ABV.

Wooden Hill Brewing Co.

  • Espresso Crow – The 2019 vintage of this bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout debuted on Black Friday in both bottles and on draft.
  • Hot Shoulder – A mango habanero Kölsch-style ale.

Your guide to Northern California Craft Beer Country

Lagunitas Brewing Company raconteur Tim Decker holds a sign at the start of a tour at the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2013. The 30 minute tour takes visitors inside the brewing facility after they've tried five different kinds of beer in the loft that overlooks the facility floor. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Danielo Xavier, of Rio, Brazil, snaps a picture with his iPhone while sampling beer in the loft during a tour of the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2013. The 30 minute tour takes visitors inside the brewing facility after they've tried five different kinds of beer in the loft that overlooks the facility floor. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Thousands of tourists make the pilgrimage each year to Northern California, visiting artisan companies that produce some of their favorite libations. The route from one stop to the next takes the faithful on some of the region’s most scenic roadways as they sip, savor and snack.

Are they flocking to the world-renowned Wine Country? Nope. They’re in Craft Beer Country.

Northern California is home to some of the nation’s best craft breweries, including such local favorites as Santa Cruz Ale Works and Drake’s in San Leandro, and the state’s craft beer king, Sierra Nevada in Chico. But we’re sticking closer to the North Coast, where IPA apostles, spirited homebrewers and other associated “hopheads” go in search of the region’s best beers. Open a map app and enlist a designated driver we’re headed up the NorCal Ale Trail.

Journey’s start: Marin Brewing

Beer: It’s not just for breakfast anymore. But if you’re expecting breakfast on your Ale Trail trek to be hoppy, Brendan Moylan’s Marin Brewing makes a fine first stop. The Marin County-themed Mt. Tam Pale Ale and the San Quentin Breakout Stout have won a lot of awards, but a light brew with a fruit-forward pedigree might be better for breakfast. Try the Bluebeery Ale, Raspberry Trail Ale or the Marin Weiss Wheat as an appetizer to the heavier brews you’ll be tasting later.

Insider’s tip: San Francisco Giants fans can soothe the pain of a disappointing 2013 with the Orange & Black Congrats Ale, which celebrates the team’s recent World Series titles.

Gone to the dogs: Lagunitas Brewing

Head up Highway 101 to Lagunitas, which from the outside appears to be a ho-hum factory in an industrial park. Once inside, you’ll find what’s arguably the most uproarious brewery experience along the Ale Trail. The free tasting tour at 3 p.m. every weekday is packed with behind-the-scenes stories, salty language and, you guessed it, beer. Unlike other tours, Lagunitas lets you do the tasting before you listen to scientific specifics and brewing minutiae. If you don’t want to learn anything, Lagunitas lets you off the hook.

Insider’s tip: The Lagunitas Beer Circus in May brings sideshow, burlesque and vaudeville acts to the brewery and saturates the event in tasty ales. Last year’s circus sold out, so check for details early in April.

Hallowed ground: Russian River Brewing

Co-owner and brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo is a legend among beer aficionados, and for good reason. His triple India pale ale, Pliny the Younger, is one of the most hyped beers in America and causes traffic jams in Santa Rosa during its two weeks of availability every February. Want to visit during the other 50 weeks of the year? You won’t be disappointed. Order “the board,” 2-ounce tasters of all the beers on the California and Belgian sampler menus. Want to grab a bite before getting back on the road? This isn’t a bad place to order a pizza.

Insider’s tip: If a line is snaking out of Russian River or the wait is soul-crushing, check out the nearby Third Street Aleworks, an excellent place for brews and sausages from Bud’s Custom Meats of Penngrove.

Big-time little guy: Stumptown Brewery

This small brewery with a big attitude is an ideal place to end a day. It’s open late, the Russian River winds by past the deck, the ribs are renowned, and the atmosphere is accepting of a crew that has been imbibing in hoppy goodness all day.

Insider’s tip: The Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff at Stumptown in August featured 30 breweries and 30 barbecue teams. The 2014 version is expected to be equally jam-packed.

Rev up the engines: Bear Republic Brewing

Head to Healdsburg and race to Bear Republic, the home of Racer 5 India Pale Ale. At 10 a.m. Saturdays, bar manager and “beer whisperer” Ryan Lindecker leads by-appointment, behind-the-scene tours of the intimate facility. After the tour, order the IPA sampler and mix and match artisan cheeses and cured meats on a custom charcuterie plate or opt for one of the massive salads.

Insider’s tip: Be sure to try Greg’s Amber Ale if it’s offered alongside the Bear Republic classics. Every year, Bear Republic selects a homebrewer’s beer to enter into the Great American Beer Festival’s pro-am competition. This year, it’s from Greg Rasmussen.

The elder statesman: Mendocino Brewing

With more than 300 craft breweries in California alone, it’s easy to forget how few were around three decades ago. Mendocino Brewing was one of the originals, and the fine folks in Ukiah recently celebrated their milestone with the 30th Anniversary Single Hop Cascade Pale Ale. Try that or one of the specialty oak cask-aged selections served only at the home of Red Tail Ale.

Insider’s tip: Plans have been hatched for two more anniversary ales in the coming year, so something new will be waiting for you at the Ale House whenever you visit.

Tasting, notes: North Coast Brewing

The brewing brainiacs at North Coast have been described as beer artists, but the artists they admire play jazz. Visit the taproom in Fort Bragg along Highway 1 on a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll hear jazz when you’re tasting a Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale. Proceeds from the beer, which is a tribute to pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, go to support the jazz legend’s music education institute.

Insider’s tip: The taproom is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and during lunch hours. If you need another spot to fit your schedule, head to Anderson Valley Brewing in Boonville, home of the Boontling folk language and Boont Amber Ale.

Slither up the coast: Eel River Brewing

For your third and final day on the Ale Trail, you’re heading north to Humboldt County. First stop: Eel River, whose slogan is “Be natural, drink naked.” You won’t see nudity during your stop — well, probably — but what you will see is the nation’s first certified organic brewery. (Get it? Organic beer is “naked” beer.)

Insider’s tip: Try the Certified Organic Climax California Classic lager. It won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1998.

Eureka! You found it: Lost Coast Brewery

It’s not hard to find Humboldt County’s biggest brewery, and it’s not hard to find Lost Coast’s flagship beer, Great White, in many Bay Area grocery stores. But if you visit this Eureka brewpub, which was founded by two women in 1990, opt for lesser-known brews, like the Indica IPA or Winterbraun brown ale.

Insider’s tip: Don’t freak out too much when you’re introduced to the giant spider. Don’t worry it’s not poisonous.

A fitting ending: Mad River Brewing

From Marin all the way to Humboldt County, this has been a (burp!) long tasting trek along the Ale Trail. The best way to end it? At Mad River, a spot that exemplifies what this region’s brewery experiences should be about: great beer in a relaxed setting with laid-back folks. Grab a classic Steelhead Extra Pale Ale or a tough-to-find specialty, such as Super Chili Pepper Madness. And after this trip, you’ll probably be hungry. Good thing Mad River hosts food trucks Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Insider’s tip: Some of the beers you drink here are likely to be made using Sierra Nevada’s first brewing system, which Mad River bought in 1989. That’s the kind of interconnectedness you’ll find in Craft Beer Country.

Looking for insider knowledge from experts who have the oh-so-tough job of taking people on brewery tours every weekend? Check out these companies.


Tap List | Apex Aleworks Begins Brewery Construction

Tony DiPlacito, Jeremy Parratt and Josh Sartin (left to right) are opening Apex Aleworks this Thursday. (Pete Dulin | Flatland)

Published February 27th, 2018 at 6:00 AM

The owner of an Independence, Missouri, homebrew supply shop has plans to provide inspiration to hobbyist brewers in the Kansas City area.

By April, Jeremy Parratt, owner of Apex Brew and BBQ Supplies (4360 Noland Road, Independence, Missouri), plans to open Apex Aleworks, a 1,500-square-foot brewery and 49-seat taproom. The brewery will occupy the former offices of Rickman Chiropractic (4356 Noland Road), located next to the homebrew supply shop. Once construction is complete, the taproom will open first and feature up to 20 guest craft beers on tap. Pratt is looking to get the brewery up and running by early July, and eventually serve up to 10 house-brewed beers on tap.

“Apex Aleworks will connect to Apex Supplies via a hallway,” Parratt, a homebrewer with 14 years of experience, said. “Glass windows will allow a view of the taproom and three-barrel brewery as customers walk between the businesses.”

Brewer Tony DiPlacito and taproom manager Josh Sartin will join Parratt in running operations at Apex Aleworks. Parratt recruited DiPlacito in part based on his reputation in local homebrewing circles and the quality of his beers.

DiPlacito, a homebrewer for eight years, has 90 recipes in his repertoire. By winning the KC Bier Meisters 2016 homebrewing competition, DiPlacito earned the opportunity for a “scale-up.” He brewed his recipe for Wily Mild, an English dark mild, on Cinder Block Brewery’s brewhouse system.

“Tony and I have talked about opening a brewery for a while. He’s worked at Apex Supplies on Saturdays for a long time,” Parratt said. “We have an organic, easy working relationship. I have a lot of respect for Tony as a brewer and person. I’ve also known Josh a long time.”

Sartin, taproom manager of The Beer Growler Taproom at bd’s Mongolian Grill (19750 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence, Missouri), will apply his taproom experience to Apex Aleworks once it opens.

“The Apex taproom will have a community feeling,” Sartin said. “A place to lounge, drink beer and enjoy each other’s company. We’ll have board games and fun ways to interact.”

The team purposely selected a three-barrel brewhouse system to “be nimble” with its production and to rotate beers on tap often.

“We want to serve fresh beer and plan to expand quickly by adding fermenter tanks,” DiPlacito said. “We’ll have a variety of classic, sessionable beers, special releases and seasonal beers.”

Possible styles include an American IPA, porter, pale ale, West Coast-style IPA, blonde ale and bitter.

“I brew classic, identifiable styles,” DiPlacito said. “I make sure the base beer is to my standards. We will make beers that appeal to everybody.”

In time, the brewery will offer a series of guest beers on tap made by homebrewers. Apex Aleworks will also serve local spirits for cocktails to complement its beer selection. The brewery plans to work with a local malt supplier and Kansas Hop Company.

Stockyards Brewing owner Greg Bland (left) and brewer Micah Weichert at Stockyards Brewing. (Pete Dulin | Flatland)

Welcome to Kansas, Stockyards Brewing

Based in the West Bottoms, Stockyards Brewing Company (1600 Genessee St., #100) begins distribution in Kansas this week.

Owner Greg Bland opened Stockyards Brewing in spring 2016 and hired experienced brewer Micah Weichert to lead brewing operations. Initially, Bland decided that the brewery would only distribute in Kansas City, Missouri, during its first year of operation and slowly grow its distribution reach.

“We have been getting a ton of great feedback from craft-forward bars and restaurants over the last year,” Bland said. “That really helped us decide to move into Kansas. It has been almost 12 months to the day that we started distribution in Missouri. We feel comfortable with our capacity now to add the Kansas market, and we are really excited to make new friends and partners on the other side of state line.”

The brewery only sells kegs for draft sales at bars, taprooms and restaurants.

“We can sell in about four counties on the Missouri side and a few counties on the Kansas side for now,” Bland said. “We are keeping the focus on the greater KC metro area.”

Stockyards has more than a half-dozen styles of beer available on the market. West Bottoms IPA, Brunch Stout, West Hefeweizen, Cerveza Royale, Belgian Rye, Black IPA, and Fox Trotter Scottish Ale will be available on tap at select locations (see the calendar for details).

“We really try to focus on quality, approachable beers, but that does not mean our beer is boring,” Bland said. “We wanted to keep the focus on our main brand and the beer that we feel represents us and the history of our neighborhood. The beer we are sharing in distribution is a great example of how we approach brewing and the beer that we want to drink at the end of the work day.”

KC Oktoberfest Heads to Crown Center

Kansas City Bier Company’s signature annual event, Oktoberfest, will be held at Crown Center October 5 and 6.

Kansas City Bier has partnered with Crown Center and O’Neill Event Management to scale up the event – which reached capacity at the Waldo brewery in recent years. The two-day festival will continue to feature authentic Bavarian food, German-style beer, entertainment and family-friendly activities.

“We’re excited to bring Oktoberfest to Crown Center,” Steve Holle, KC Bier Company’s founder and managing partner, said in a release. “Kansas City and the Midwest were widely settled by German immigrants, and we want to celebrate that heritage by providing a true Oktoberfest experience with authentic Bavarian-style bier, food and music.”

General admission tickets and packages for KC Oktoberfest go on sale in late spring.

Boulevard Brewing’s Tequila Barrel Lime Gose will be released both on draft and in bottles this year. (Courtesy of Boulevard Brewing Company)

City Barrel Brewing Company (1916 Grand Blvd.) made news with the announcement of its existence and future location. With a focus on hoppy, wild, and sour beers, brewery co-founders James Stutsman, Grant Waner and Joe Giammanco plan to open in late 2018. Look for an in-depth story in next week’s Tap List.

Casual Animal Brewing (1725 McGee St.) released Chaos Monkey Banana Cream Pie Ale over the weekend.

Last weekend, Border Brewing Company (406 E. 18th St.) celebrated its third anniversary with a special release of two beers. Better Late (6.9-percent ABV), Border’s first sour beer, has a mid-level acidity balanced with chocolate, raisin and caramel malt flavors. The dark beer was finished with black currant and dates for extra depth and sweetness. Never Again IPA (4.6-percent ABV), a New England IPA-style, used a whopping eight pounds of hops in two barrels of beer. The recipe uses flaked oats and wheat predominantly to yield a hazy, light and hoppy beer.

Miami Creek Brewing Company (14226 NW County Road 14001, Drexel, Missouri) now offers beer flights (four beers, five-ounce samples, $6 flight) at its taproom. The brewery has secured a wholesale license that enables it to sell and distribute directly to retail accounts. Taproom delights include Lavender Saison fermented with farm-grown lavender and Poncho’s Pepper Ale brewed with smoked jalapeño, Anaheim and poblano peppers, and applewood-smoked malt. Rebels & Redcoats, a Double IPA, is dry-hopped with wild hops from Miami Creek’s farm. Next week, Cream Ale with farm-grown coriander and Chocolate Belgian, made with home-roasted cacao, will be on tap.

Calibration Brewery (119 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) has Boom! Like That (8-percent ABV, 58 IBUs), an unfiltered Belgian strong ale, on tap.

Boulevard Brewing’s Tequila Barrel Lime Gose, a German-style gose infused with lime peel, returns March 5 on draft and March 6 in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles in Greater Kansas City. Rye on Rye on Rye on Rye is yet another variant of its Rye on Rye beer.

¡Vamos!, a Mexican-style lager, deepens the partnership between Boulevard and the Kansas City Royals on and off the field. ¡Vamos! hits March 5 on draft and March 6 in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles in Greater Kansas City.

Kansas City Bier Company (310 W. 79th St.) has a limited quantity of Hop Schlagen (11-percent ABV, 24 IBUs), a dry-hopped triple India Pale Lager, on tap. Made for the brewery’s recent four-year anniversary, the high-alcohol amber beer was brewed with low hop bitterness. The brewery has also begun bottling Pils, its pilsner-style lager, for distribution.

Colony KC (312 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) released an Espresso Porter, Volume II of its coffee-based Pole-to-Pole Series of beers. This beer features espresso from Blip Roasters. Another coffee beer, Kansas City Coffee Kolsch, will be released this week.

Stockyards Brewing Co. holds a series of release parties in honor of starting distribution this week. (Pete Dulin | Flatland)

This Week

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Stockyard Brewing hosts a release party at Barley’s Kitchen + Tap (16649 Midland Drive, Shawnee, Kansas) from 5 to 7 p.m. Cerveza Royale, West Hefeweizen, West Bottoms IPA and other beers on tap are the featured attraction.

Bier Station (120 E. Gregory Blvd.) hosts a Science on Tap, where this event’s discussion explores 400 Million Years on Six Legs: Evolution of the Insects. Gather in the biergarten as KU Natural History Museum professor Michael Engel leads a wide-ranging discussion about everything from the Jurassic love songs of katydids to giant fleas.

Starting at 6 p.m., play bike trivia, enter a raffle drawing, win swag, and drink BikeWalkKC Local Motive Pale Ale at Casual Animal Brewing Co. (1725 McGee St.). Two dollars of every pint sold from the Local Motive tap of pale ale benefits BikeWalkKC this quarter.

Ruins Pub (1715 Main St.) taps a special release of Firestone Walker Anniversary Ale and Bretta Weiss at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Stockyard Brewing hosts a release party at The Bar (6101 Johnson Drive, Mission, Kansas) from 5 to 7 p.m. with its Cerveza Royale, West Hefeweizen and West Bottoms IPA on tap.

HopCat (401 Westport Road) welcomes a rare Kansas City area appearance by Public House Brewing Company, based in Rolla, Missouri. Public House’s tap takeover includes Anthony’s Pacification Imperial Stout, Soest Road Belgian-Style Dubbel, Flynn’s Irish Red Ale, Sticke It Up Your Alt and Frisco 1501 Historic Lager, a California Common.

Thursday, March 1

The Big Rip Brewing Company (216 E. Ninth Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri) cordially greets March with the release of Doorkeeper Cinnamon Roll Porter (8.5-percent ABV). This imperial porter made with ample cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla to yield a rich, dark and sweet dessert beer. Available on tap and in growlers.

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar (4814 Roanoke Parkway) releases a collaboration Oyster Stout made with Cinder Block Brewery. A Cinder Block representative will be at Jax to talk about the beer and pour samples of this uncommon, yet traditional, stout beer.

Friday, March 2

Martin City Brewing Company hosts a happy hour at Bier Station from 4 to 7 p.m. Kick off the first weekend of March with Shunned House Brett IPA, Imperial Alchemy Coffee Stout with Vanilla Beans, Banging the Enemy Red IPA, Hard Way IPA, and Belgian Blond.

Saturday, March 3

Miami Creek Brewing Company (14226 NW County Road 14001, Drexel, Missouri) conducts its first-ever tap takeover at Union Restaurant and Public House (27 W. Dakota St., Butler, Missouri). Chrissy’s Cream Ale, The Chocolate Belgian, Farmhouse Wheat Ale, Rebels & Redcoats, and Lavender Saison will be on tap.

Sunday, March 4

Play free bingo at BLVD Tours & Rec Center (2534 Madison Ave.) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The availability of $5 Tank 7 beermosas & KC Pils micheladas have no bearing on your chances of winning.

Monday, March 5

Distribution begins today of Martin City Brewing Company’s Hard Way IPA in 12-pack cans throughout Greater Kansas City.

— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of The KC Ale Trail. Follow @FlatlandKC and #TapList on Twitter for more food news and trends.


Watch the video: 100% happy (February 2023).